In Pursuit Of The Past: Collecting Old Art In Modern India Circa 1900 - 1950 by Pratapaditya PalIn Pursuit Of The Past: Collecting Old Art In Modern India Circa 1900 - 1950 by Pratapaditya Pal

In Pursuit Of The Past: Collecting Old Art In Modern India Circa 1900 - 1950

byPratapaditya Pal

Hardcover | November 30, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 455 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Not available in stores


To date, as far as is known, no book has ever been written on the history of collecting in India, either of books or artFor the subcontinent of India, the period from the late 19th to the first half of the 20th century was one of extensive and substantial change. A significant development was the awakening of a sense of national pride, which included an increased awareness and interest in the region's ancient heritage. The explorations of the Archaeological Survey of India (founded in 1861) unearthed several treasures of the past; in addition, the dwindling fortunes of princely families led them to begin disposing of their possessions. As a result, several individuals from wealthy and educated Indian families, as also enlightened European visitors and residents, zealously acquired objects of historic and aesthetic appeal. Today these works of art, preserved in museum or private collections in India and abroad, provide rich materials for the study of India's art history.This book presents the stories of these pioneering collectors and collections in eminently readable form. Many of the 20th-century collectors were personally known to the author, and he presents interesting, little-known facts about their lives and how they came to acquire some of the prize pieces in their collections. Apart from his own recollections, Dr. Pal has mined the memoirs of other scholars, collectors and dealers, as well as writings and catalogs that provide details of acquisitions and sources. He traces the journey of great works of art over the decades, as collections were sold or gifted away, as a whole or dispersed.The significant figures of this period come alive in the narrative and their singleminded pursuit of beauty is evident from some of the most significant objects from their collections illustrated here.Any reader with an interest in India's glorious art traditions will find a wealth of information in this book, presented in the author's inimitable style with insightful comment and observation. Marg is honored to published this magnum opus on the occasion of Dr. Pal completing 80 years.
Pratapaditya Pal was the General Editor of Marg from 1993 until his retirement in 2012. A prolific author, eminent art historian, curator and lecturer, specializing in the visual arts and architecture of the Indian subcontinent, Himalaya and Southeast Asia, he has written and edited over 80 books and catalogs as well as published over ...
Title:In Pursuit Of The Past: Collecting Old Art In Modern India Circa 1900 - 1950Format:HardcoverDimensions:150 pages, 12 × 9.8 × 0.73 inPublished:November 30, 2015Publisher:Marg FoundationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9383243090

ISBN - 13:9789383243099

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Prologue; Part 1: Eastern Circle: Chapter 1: Artists as Collectors: The Tagore Brothers of Calcutta; Chapter 2: Scholars as Collectors: Woodroffe, Coomaraswamy and Kramrisch; Chapter 3: Bhadralok Collectors of Calcutta; Chapter 4: Modern Collectors in an Ancient Capital: Patna; Chapter 5: The Holy City of Banaras; Part 2: Western Circle: Chapter 6: Collecting in the Land of the Five Rivers; Chapter 7: The Tata Family: Collecting in the Grand Manner; Chapter 8: Diverse Collectors of Bombay; Chapter 9: Bombay Presidency and Beyond; Epilogue.

Editorial Reviews

Written with style and verve by Pratapaditya Pal, a 'collector, curator and curmudgeon', In Pursuit of the Past is scholarly and enjoyable with its stories about collectors.